Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca and Fire Chief Michael Dingelstedt say that the town will continue to investigate an incident on March 23 where nearly 20 minutes passed before an ambulance arrived to help an 8-year-old boy having a seizure.
The incident happened at the corner of Ridgewood Road and Ridgewood Terrace after the boy exited a school bus. DeLuca and Dingelstedt discussed the incident during the April 5 Township Committee meeting. Two residents on the scene (who said that the ambulance took 22 minutes to arrive) also spoke at the meeting, calling for a review of the town’s emergency response system.
According to a report in the News-Record, the area dispatch service REMCS received the call, then followed protocol, checking first for ambulances in Maplewood and South Orange (which were not available), then the South Orange Rescue Squad, then MONOC, a private ambulance service. “However, for some unknown reason, the MONOC ambulance was canceled by MONOC and redirected elsewhere,” the News-Record reported.
According to Dingelstedt, the Maplewood Fire Department was never called, although protocol was followed, because the incident was not designated as a life-threatening emergency.
“It was a horrible situation,” said DeLuca at the April 5 meeting, “I think what we need to do is make sure it never happens again.” The Mayor further told the residents, “I think you’ve identified a problem or a situation that we have to look into and solve.”
View the video of the April 5 Maplewood Township Committee meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90cZvNdlOz8. The two residents begin their comments at the 18:00 mark; Mayor DeLuca addresses the incident starting at 37:30.
The News-Record story was published in the April 14 print edition and is not yet available online; however, when it is posted online, it can be found here: https://essexnewsdaily.com/category/news/maplewood